whytheology

For the Intersection of the Everyday and the Sacred

James 2:18-20 (Lent Readings)

Text

KJV Below (Link to NIV)

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Comment

Again James is making the point. Doctrine along is pointless. The demons and devils have, no doubt, flawless doctrine. Yet it causes them to tremble. If we truly had flawless doctrine, apart from Christ we too would tremble because we would know our ultimate fate is sealed. Instead, faith is inextricably tied to action. It is possible that James has an evangelistic point in mind as he writes that. Can a faith that is private really change anything? A public faith, that is one that is actively working to restore this world and reveal God’s kingdom already a work, is visible.

Question

St Francis of Assisi supposedly said “Witness at all times, and when necessary use words.” What is it, do you think, about an active faith that leads it to be evangelistic as well? What are you doing to demonstrate your faith by your works? (And remember from chapter 1, words alone are not enough either, action is required).

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